Research has shown that health care systems can play an important role in preventing suicide deaths, and champions of suicide prevention agree that measures and tools currently exist to assist them in doing so. EDC, through the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), provides leadership and support for one such measure—the Zero Suicide Initiative, which is a comprehensive model of suicide prevention that challenges health and behavioral health care systems to strive for zero suicides among those in their care.
Launched by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Zero Suicide is a key concept of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Its foundational belief is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It provides a systematic approach to quality improvement, with enhanced screening, assessment, and engagement; policy and protocol development for systems; and implementation of best practices.
EDC’s activities in support of Zero Suicide include the following:
- Developed the Zero Suicide toolkit to assist health and behavioral care leaders and leadership teams in implementing the seven elements of the initiative
- Offer technical assistance in implementing the Zero Suicide initiative to health and behavioral health care systems
- Maintain a library of resources for understanding and implementing Zero Suicide
Systems that have used the Zero Suicide approach have seen 65–80 percent reductions in suicide for those in their care.